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How To Clean A Tie

Did you ever get a blob of white sauce fall on smack in the middle of your black silk tie? Mustard parted ways with your hotdog to land on the most visible part of your favorite maroon tie? Of course white goes well with black and yellow with red, but it’s an unwanted decoration on your tie. All you need to do is follow simple cleaning tricks to ensure that you always have a clean tie to wear, without buying a new tie every time.

The tie can be sent for dry cleaning for professional help. Silk ties pose more of a problem as dry cleaning them tends to rob them off the color and sheen. Dry cleaning removes most stains but can sometimes worsen them too, or cause the tie to lose some of it's original color all over or in the stained area. Make sure that you inform the dry cleaner about the origin of the stain so it can be treated with specific stain removers.

If the tie is of lesser value than the dry cleaning and you wish to keep the tie, you can try these stain removal tips. These methods work most of the time but not with every stain.

To remove a stain, never rub it. Gently dab it with a clean towel, napkin or cloth. Rubbing will spread the stain.

Do not wash the silk tie with water to remove the stain, the original stain will go but you will wind up with a larger water stain.

If it is a butter or grease stain, liberally sprinkle talcum powder on the stain and leave overnight. The powder will absorb the grease and you can then brush it with a clean towel or cloth. A heavily stained tie may require you to repeat the above steps more than once.

If your silk tie has had an accident with a sauce, ink, juice, coffee, etc., then blot the stain immediately with a clean towel or napkin. Do not scrub as it will spread the stain. Later, purchase a good stain remover which is specific for the reason of the stain.  Test the remover on the back part of the tie before using it on the stain. Follow the instructions on the stain remover. This will remove many stains.

For more difficult stains, you will need to first use a mild stain remover to pretreat the stain. Work the remover into the fabric, by delicately rubbing it on the stain for a minute or so. Prepare a cool water bath with a mild detergent and gently move the tie in this solution for about 5 minutes. Completely rinse out the detergent with cool water. Do not wring the tie. Now prepare another solution with white vinegar (1/4 cup) and cool water (3-5 gallons). Give the tie a final rinse in this vinegar solution. Do not wring out the tie. The fabric may even show a puckering. Flatten a clean dry towel and lay the tie without stretching on the towel. Now, loosely roll up the towel. Leave it rolled up for 12-24 hours. Now roll up the tie in another dry towel. Unroll after one day and you will get a clean, shiny, and well-shaped tie.

These are not guaranteed stain removal methods, but they are worth a try when it's a choice between cleaning the stain and buying a new tie

Rich Christiansen

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